in watching the VT shooting coverage on the major US Networks - especially their fervent search for 'bad guys' above and beyond the shooter (the 'persons of interest,' the school officials, etc.) - i couldn't help but be reminded of the 'Sago Mine Disaster' of January 06, in response to which i wrote this column (poem?) for The Peak:
Beer and Popcorn
i must admit that when i wrote the column i wasn't quite sure where i was going with the thing, only that it all went together in a way that both satisfied and challenged me. now, returning to it and its overarching theme of collective deception via our desire for compelling narratives - the media's desire to turn human existence into theatre and our complicity in this - i feel like i understand what i wrote much better, and feel it that much more intensely - which is fairly devastating.
what happened at VT is unimaginable - even the idea of one death is enough to overwhelm our sensory and intellectual capacities - so we retreat emotionally in order to maintain ourselves, and watch the coverage as we would watch a video game. but this is life, it 'all we've got.' the reality is there are no 'bad guys' (or 'good guys'). the reality is as mundane as it is unimaginable, and that, i believe, is why we should grieve.